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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4283 Members Latest Member: - otto Most online today: 71 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: octaNe: revved up and revised rules  (Read 5452 times)
Jared A. Sorensen
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Posts: 1463

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« on: June 19, 2003, 12:13:19 PM »

After playing octaNe once and running it twice, I'm a bit concerned with how things work. Not game play, per se...I think that the game itself is pretty cool and seems to work well as a whole. It's just that there are two things that kinda irk me and I'd like to fix 'em.

The first is the dreaded order of actions. Right now, players act in order of the Styles they wish to use. So Daring goes first, then Ingenuity, etc. down the line. The thing is, Styles don't mean squat until *after* the die roll, so the Styles don't really need to be announced before the dice are rolled. Of course, this means that someone that rolls a 5 or 6 can opt to use their best Style, but why wouldn't they, right? So I don't think that's a problem.

Here's how I'd change it. Everyone rolls 3d6 (or less if unskilled, or more if spending Plot Points). Then, actions are announced according to the Styles used.

Now the hard one. Might & Magic.

Let's face it, the implementation for Might & Magic is the weakest part of the game. In fact, Might & Magic *suck*. So how to fix it?

Well, in the last game I ran the player with Might started doing funky things with it (mechanically, that is he wasn't following the rules because, presumably, he misunderstood them). What he was doing was saying, "I use Might," then he would spend X Plot Points to reduce the Hazard rating by that amount. I went along with it because I knew the alternative was messy, confusing and Not Fun.

So how to revise Might & Magic?

1) Might & Magic become one Style instead of two separate Styles.

2) When using M&M, the player spends Plot Points to reduce a Hazard, with the max. points that can be reduced being equal to the M&M Style. M&M can still be used the normal way (roll 3d6, player narrates on a 4-6, on 5 or 6 the player earns Plot Points).

3) Because M&M goes last, Hazards can only be reduced on the "second round" of the conflict. So "Our Heroes" get their asses handed to them via low die rolls courtesy of a Hazard rating, then M&M Style characters help to win the day in round 2.

4) There's no roll when spending Plot Points to reduce Hazards. The players spend the points and describe what their characters do but the GM gets to describe how it affects the conflict.

I think that would work a lot better than the current dumb-ass method. Oh yeah, characters can still do the once/game "recharge."

On the other hand, Player-on-Player stunt rolls seemed to work pretty well. So I'm happy with that.

Viva octaNe!
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jared a. sorensen / www.memento-mori.com
Spooky Fanboy
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Posts: 585


« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2003, 12:21:46 PM »

I don't know why, but somehow it seems right to me that, if you're going to lump them together, just call that stat SFX (short for 'special effects').

I assume that, if characters tie in an order roll, their Style determines who goes first? And then how many points they have invested in it? Or something like that.
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Jared A. Sorensen
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« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2003, 12:43:23 PM »

Quote from: Spooky Fanboy
I don't know why, but somehow it seems right to me that, if you're going to lump them together, just call that stat SFX (short for 'special effects').

I assume that, if characters tie in an order roll, their Style determines who goes first? And then how many points they have invested in it? Or something like that.


If two or more people are using the same Style I usually go in order of left-right. Either that or they can all kibbitz to come up with a kind of crazy multiple character Stunt.

SFX is an okay term, I suppose. But I'll keep Might & Magic because man, I loved that game!
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jared a. sorensen / www.memento-mori.com
Robert Leal
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Posts: 15


« Reply #3 on: June 21, 2003, 07:59:06 PM »

My current gaming group is wrapping up a D&D3E campaign (actually the third of three story arcs).  The group is mostly newbies (or they were when we started), and I've been using some of what I've learned lurking and posting on the Forge in running the game (thanks to Ron & Raven for all the early advice).

Long preamble short, one of them wants to try running a Vampires adventure, and then they all want me to run octaNe (I started explaining the premise, and you had to see their eyes light up).

When the time comes, I'll take these changes out for a spin, but I could use some help first with Might & Magic (the most confusing part of the rules).  

One of the players wants to play a Helljacked, and I'm not sure how that works in character creation and in play.  Does she have to define a skill for each of the funky demon powers she wants, or can she just use the M&M style for whatever she wants on the fly.

For example, would she take Demon lore, fighting, looking mean, weird Hell-spawned magic, transform into a flock of ravens, spit flame, see your heart's desire, and hell on wheels as her skills, and those skills would limit what she can do with M&M.  Or does she pick other skills and then decide to spit acid (or any other funky power) and just spend the plot points for M&M, regardless of what her skills are?

I'm assuming I'm missing something in the rules, help me find it.

Rob

PS: Another one wants, after they've tried octaNe, to run Inspectres.  She's never GM'd, and I'm curious to see how that works, as she may have the advantage of not having to unlearn any bad habits.
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Jared A. Sorensen
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« Reply #4 on: June 22, 2003, 06:20:13 AM »

Quote from: Robert Leal
For example, would she take Demon lore, fighting, looking mean, weird Hell-spawned magic, transform into a flock of ravens, spit flame, see your heart's desire, and hell on wheels as her skills, and those skills would limit what she can do with M&M.  Or does she pick other skills and then decide to spit acid (or any other funky power) and just spend the plot points for M&M, regardless of what her skills are?



If you have M&M, you can take a bunch of funky powers (as listed above in your example). During the game, the player could spend Plot Points to acquire more Hell-spawned skills (1 Plot Point buys 1 additional skill if the character *could* know the skill).

- J
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jared a. sorensen / www.memento-mori.com
Robert Leal
Member

Posts: 15


« Reply #5 on: June 23, 2003, 05:33:57 AM »

Thanks.  Any other proposed rule changes (in addition to the ones above) you can point me to, so I can try them as well?

Rob
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Jared A. Sorensen
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« Reply #6 on: June 23, 2003, 06:11:54 AM »

Nope, other than the ones included in Blood & Steel and Against the Reich!

One more thing, though. I was pondering how to make Plot Points work better in conjunction with Hazards and I came up with this:

After everyone has rolled and Hazards have been taken into account, players can spend Plot Points to gain another roll. This second roll overrides the first and ignores Hazards but each die costs a Plot Point and for each Plot Point spent, the player must come up with a reason for the re-roll.

So against an ancient Mummy Lord (Hazard 2), my wrestler character rolls 3d6 and rolls 1, 3, 4. Hazard 2 cancels out the two highest rolls, leaving a 1 as the Die Result. Fearing the worst, I spend two Plot Point to re-roll 2d6. My reasons are a) the wrestler has fought this opponent before and knows how to fight him and b) the kids the Mummy Lord stole away are now chanting the luchador's name, spurring him on to victory. I roll 3, 5...the new Die Result is 5. Ole!
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jared a. sorensen / www.memento-mori.com
Spooky Fanboy
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Posts: 585


« Reply #7 on: June 23, 2003, 06:48:27 AM »

Any chance these changes will be collected somewhere we can all download and print out?
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Jared A. Sorensen
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« Reply #8 on: June 23, 2003, 07:15:23 AM »

I'll make up an errata sheet PDF for folks to download. Most likely when I return from Origins.
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jared a. sorensen / www.memento-mori.com
Robert Leal
Member

Posts: 15


« Reply #9 on: June 23, 2003, 06:55:42 PM »

Cool!  Since my octaNe career won't be starting for at least a month or two, they should be gathered by then, and I'll take them for a test drive.

Rob
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